Cravings have a tendency to creep up on us even when we are doing our best to keep them at bay. It still happens to me from time to time. After years of studying nutrition, I have come to learn that it is not about a lack of willpower. Yay! Cravings happen for a variety of reasons, some of which include stress, emotions, hormonal imbalances or nutritional deficiencies. The best thing we can do is arm ourselves with snacks that are healthy, easy to make and satisfying.
When I am thinking about snacks for me and my family, I ask myself if they have all of the macronutrients (protein, carbohydrates and fats) because I have found that by having a little of each when snacking, we are less likely to have cravings for non-nutritional foods an hour later.
Check out three of my favorite snack combinations:
- Sunflower seed butter (or any other nut butter) and an apple, celery/carrots, or Mary’s Gone crackers. Nut butters have protein and fat. Remember, a tablespoon or two will do. Carbohydrates are not just breads, pastas and crackers. Think fruits and vegetables!
- Hummus and avocado spread on a brown rice cake with a pinch of Celtic Sea Salt. If you want something savory and satisfying, this is the way to go. The creaminess of the hummus and avocado, paired with the crunch from the rice cake, makes my taste buds sing. All of the macronutrients are satisfied with this delicious and nutritious snack.
- Chia seed pudding and berries. I love chia pudding for many reasons. It is easy to make, portable and delicious. Chia seeds are loaded with healthy fats, protein and fiber. How can you go wrong? Add some organic berries (frozen or fresh) and you are good to go! I like to eat half in the middle of the afternoon and save the other half for an after dinner treat!
Chia Seed Pudding
¼ c chia seeds
1 c organic almond milk
2-3 tsp. locally grown honey
1 tsp. organic vanilla
Mix all ingredients together, cover, refrigerate and allow to set overnight. In the morning, add your favorite organic fruits (our house loves berries) and a few slices of toasted almonds—delicious.
When it comes to snacks, it is important to always have something with you like almonds or an apple to beat those cravings! Good luck!